Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Ghost #Cozy #Animal #Mystery: THE BATH BOMBED ZOMBIE, Haunted Housekeeping Book 4 by R. A. Muth

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Haunted Housekeeping Series Book 4


Will this blushing bride spend her wedding day behind bars?

When Tori’s mother announces her engagement, Tori, Rune, and Hazel head to South Carolina for the wedding. Glad for a break from solving crimes in Cooper’s Cove, they look forward to a vacation in the sunny south.

But once they arrive, the pre-wedding preparations have hardly begun when Tori discovers her future stepfather’s ex-girlfriend–and the police suspect the bride of committing the heinous crime.

Can Tori solve the murder and clear her mother’s name, or will the bride spend her wedding day behind bars?

The Bath Bombed Zombie is the fourth quirky cozy mystery in the hilarious Haunted Housekeeping Series. Reading this book first will reveal spoilers about earlier books in the series, but it can be read as a standalone novel as the mystery is complete with zero cliffhangers.


Haunted Housekeeping Series Book 4


Chapter 1

A wall of humidity hit us in the face as we stepped out of the car.

“Are we in hell? This is hell, isn’t it?” Hazel asked.

Rune clucked his tongue. “Whist, lass. It isn’t hell. It’s Palmetto Crossroads. Tori’s phone map said it a million times.”

I squeezed Rune’s hand, hoping he would take it as a sign not to argue with my best friend. The two started bickering around the time when we crossed the Mason-Dixon line and hadn’t stopped. I always heard people say heat affects people differently. Living in Maine offered little opportunity to see it in action. Now that I had, there was only one thing I desired—air conditioning.

Before I could suggest we make our way up the sidewalk to the one-story house, which looked like something out of a 1980s sitcom, Mom burst through the front door. “You’re here! I can’t believe y’all are finally here!”

As a snarky teenager, I always compared my mother to Dorothy from The Golden Girls. After she moved to the Carolinas, she morphed right into Blanche, the man-crazy southern belle.

Mom hugged us each in turn, holding onto Rune a smidge longer. “Thank y’all for driving down. There’s no way I could do this without my squad.”

“Of course, we’re here. How many times does a girl get to walk her mother down the aisle?” The answer was four so far.

Mom opened her mouth to reply, but a wood-paneled station wagon screeching to a halt behind Bug, my Volkswagen Beetle, cut her off.

The driver, a perky blonde whose chest threatened to burst from her midriff-style shirt, pointed a well-manicured finger at Mom. A top coat of glitter sparkled as she waved her hand around. She shrieked, “You did this!”

“Chelsea, honey, don’t you come onto my property and accuse me of anything. If you had kept your man happy, he wouldn’t have put a ring on it.” Mom thrust her arm out and splayed her hand to show off an engagement band glistening with tiny gemstones encircling a huge diamond. It outshone the glittery nail polish on the other woman’s fingernails by a mile.

“Don’t you ‘honey’ me, you old battle-ax!” Every word carried Chelsea’s voice to a higher octave

Before it reached the point of breaking glass in the windows of all the homes in the neighborhood, I asked, “Mom, who is this Chelsea person?”

Instead of answering, Mom looked at Chelsea, who was now throwing clothing and other items from the back of her vehicle onto the front lawn, and called, “Is that what they’re wearing now? I hope you used extra sunscreen today because you sure have a lot of skin showing.”

I caught Rune openly staring at the spectacle and nudged his ribs with my elbow. “Eyes over here, mister.”

“Heh. Yer the only lass for me,” he assured me.

When I first met Rune, he was a black cat serving out a centuries-long curse sentenced by an irate fairy woman. I was the only person who could see his true form until the curse was broken. Did it give me an edge over other women who might vie for his attention? Perhaps, but I wasn’t taking any chances.

The sun cast a tangerine-hued glow across Chelsea’s unnaturally blonde hair. She slammed the back of the car closed and balled her hands into fists. “You might have stole my man and my winning lottery ticket, but you have not heard the last of me. Do you hear me?”

“Bless your heart. The whole town can hear you as loud as you’re yelling.”

“You won the lottery?” I asked Mom.

“I did, and I’ve decided it’s time I settle down now that I have the funds to pay for the wedding ceremony I deserve.”

“Wicked awesome! I’m so happy for you and,” I scrambled to recall the name of Mom’s current paramour. When searching, my memory came up empty. I covered it by saying, “Your fiancé.”

“Yeah! Weddings are super fun,” Hazel chimed in. “Congratulations!”

“Scooter and I are going to be very happy. Of course, I called Topher Wickhard back in Cooper’s Cove for advice on a prenuptial agreement. No man is going to run off with my worldly goods.”

I blurted, “Scooter? What happened to the vegan?”

“Vegan schmegan,” Mom said with a snort. “Never trust a man who doesn’t eat meat that’s been deep-fried in pure lard.”

“That’s advice I can use.” Hazel, who suffered a string of bad dates and false starts to new relationships after her divorce, bounced in the blue flip-flops she bought at the Welcome to South Carolina visitors center. “So, how did you win? Tell us all about it!”

“You know how much I love scratch-off tickets… Well, a couple of weeks ago, I was in the customer service line down at the Stop-N-Go, and they were out of the Big Top Showdowns.”

Rune scrunched his nose in confusion. “What is that?”

“The Big Top Showdown is the latest scratch-off game,” Mom explained. “The tickets are wicked adorable. You scratch off the faces of cowboy circus clowns to see if you’ve won.”

“Go on. They were out of those, so you…” I trailed off but moved my hand in a circle to indicate she should get to the point.

“I got a Peach Power Blast instead,” she said as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

Not knowing what this was, I asked, “So, like, an energy drink?”

“No, silly daughter. It’s the state lottery ticket, and when they drew the numbers, I had all nine of them plus the Blaster Ball bonus number.”

Hazel squealed, “So, like, you’re getting married, and you hit the lottery?”

“Girl, I liked to have died and gone to heaven when I saw them numbers pop up on the television screen.”

“Wow. Congrats!” I gave Mom a one-armed hug while keeping an eye on Chelsea’s continued frantic actions.

“Thank you, Tor-Tor,” Mom said and kissed my cheek.

Hazel glanced at me, but I shot her a look. Tor-Tor? Yeah. Mom and I would have to discuss this new southern-sounding nickname later, along with her newfound southern accent.

“Are you freaking kidding me? That is not how you won the lottery!” Chelsea shrieked. “When you seen I was in line behind you, you deliberately got the ticket I always get, and you let the machine pick the numbers, just like I always do!” Chelsea screamed, but this time her voice wavered, and she blinked a lot as if she was on the verge of tears.

Hazel said, “I’m pretty sure a random pick would rule out theft. The lottery is a game of chance. The whole point is to have a randomly selected winner.”

“You sound just like your mother, and none of you knows what you’re talking about! Why don’t you highfalutin hussies go back north of the Mason-Dixon where you come from!”

I couldn’t help but correct her, “Actually, she’s my mom.”

“I. Don’t. Freaking. Care! Her mom, your mom, the Easter Bunny’s mom. She’s a thief, and I will make sure that she pays for what she’s done! You mark my words!”

A patrol car pulled along the curb behind Chelsea’s station wagon. On the door, beneath the words “Palmetto Crossroads Police Department” was a cartoon roach-looking insect wearing a tiny police hat and a badge. It reminded me of Gavin, also known as Hazel’s brother and my high school nemesis, who resented our sleuthing back home in Cooper’s Cove, Maine.

The officer who exited the car looked nothing like Gavin, however. This man looked more like he’d stepped off the page of a calendar full of hotties. Hello, Mr. July. Since meeting Rune over a year ago, I rarely paid attention to other men. The way this policeman’s muscles bulged beneath his shirt added to his commanding presence, and I could not look away if I’d tried.

Something nudged my side, and I looked over to see Rune giving me some serious side-eye. “Eyes over here, lass,” he said with a scowl.

I squeezed my hunky Irishman’s hand and assured him, “You’re the only man for me. Don’t worry.”

Rune opened his mouth to reply, but Chelsea’s scream pierced the air.

“Go away, Scooter!”

About Author R.A. Muth

R. A. Muth is a coffee addict who entertains readers with quirky characters who solve not-too-scary murders in places she’d like to live in real life. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time at the beach with her family and binge-watching Netflix with her golden retriever.


Links to R.A.’s websites, blogs, books, #ad etc.:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/4bb7AQk

Website – www.beckymuth.com


Special Giveaway: Follow R.A. on Substack for a chance to win a swag pack from the author including a wooden bookmark, stickers, and more!


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4 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench #Ghost #Cozy #Animal #Mystery: THE BATH BOMBED ZOMBIE, Haunted Housekeeping Book 4 by R. A. Muth”

  1. Followed you. Book looks like an interesting and intriguing read
    You’re a new author to me so look forward to reading your books especially in print format.
    Thanks for chance of winning.

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